Costs on Decatur High project expected to increase by $280,000

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 5, 2015
The front steps of Decatur High School. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The front steps of Decatur High School. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The Decatur School Board is holding a special work session on Oct. 6 to discuss the increased cost of the Decatur High School Phase 1 renovations.

The original project budget was $12.5 million, but changes to the project are increasing the total budget by $281,700, according to documents attached to the work session agenda.

Chief Operating Officer Noel Maloof, who until this year was the principal at the High School, included a memo explaining the changes.


“These updates are driven primarily by two factors,” Maloof wrote. “First, we had to address unsuitable soil conditions at the upper parking lot construction site. Not long after the start of construction, these unforeseen soil conditions were encountered. These soil conditions were between 3 and 5 feet of topsoil that had to be removed as it is was not suitable soil for use as a base for a Parking Lot. This additional cost was $113, 784.00. Second, after review of the Life Safety Egress requirements of the existing
Main Building, design modifications to the Phase 1 Addition were necessary to achieve approval of the City of Decatur Fire Marshall and permitting department.”

According to Maloof’s memo, CSD was able to achieve $232,415 of “design savings” on the project.

Earlier this year, the School Board terminated its contract with Winter Construction for construction of the high school, citing cost overruns. CSD borrowed $18 million using Certificates of Participation money to begin the process of expanding Decatur High and Renfroe Middle in response to increasing enrollment.

The changes in the cost come as the Decatur residents are being asked to consider whether to allow City Schools of Decatur to borrow $75 million for school construction. The $75 million bond referendum will be on the ballot on Nov. 3.

The work session begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 6, and will be held at the Central Office at Beacon, located at 125 Electric Avenue.

Here is the full memo from Maloof:


The agenda also includes this Power Point presentation about the DHS project.



About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Dec30030 Teacher

    Considering the parking lot was built OVER THE COMMUNITY GARDEN I don’t think it’s a surprise that there was top soil. Sounds like a classic case of going with the low bid that didn’t turn out to be low, after all.

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